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Can I do ACT for that? Delineating an Individualized Boundary of Competence for ACT in ABA (ETHICS!!!) – A 4 hour workshop in 2 parts


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Event Information

Presented by: Michael Bordieri, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Live: 10/7/2022 & 10/14/2022 | 12:00 -2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time

The recording of all ABAC Live events are accessible to those that register for the live event for 2-weeks.

Continuing education credit and professional development requirements must be met within that two-week window.

The recording will close on 10/28/22 at 11:59 pm eastern.


Behavior analysts have shown increased interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) in recent years as ACT has gained mainstream acceptance within applied behavior analysis. Given that ACT’s intellectual origins are closely aligned with behavior analysis, it is natural to assume that behavior analysts can readily learn ACT techniques and integrate them into their professional practice. However, ethical challenges emerge when behavior analysts with a diverse range of training experiences and professional backgrounds attempt to implement ACT across a diverse range of settings, populations, and target behaviors. While significant attention has been placed on broadly defining the scope of practice of ACT within ABA (Szabo & Tarbox, 2018), relatively limited attention has been placed on exploring boundaries of competence at the level of the individual behavior analyst. To date, observations of inappropriate recommendations made by behavior analysts on how and when to use ACT on public social media forums, previous evaluations from other ABAC events, and recent commentaries published in BAP (Tarbox et al., 2020, Cihon et al., 2022) indicate that scope of practice is a primary area of concern for behavior analysts within the context of ACT. This workshop is designed to empower behavior analysts to define their own boundary of competence with regard to ACT and to identify specific contexts, populations, and target behaviors where they can ethically and effectively utilize ACT to influence socially relevant behaviors. Particular emphasis will be placed on the “grey areas” that lie at the boundary of ethical and potentially unethical practice. Participants will practice using a series of decision making tools (e.g., Rosenberg & Schwartz, 2018) to help them identify when they are practicing within “grey areas” and safely navigate towards the ethical practice of ACT within ABA. 


Behavior analysts interested in the ethical implications of implementing ACT in their practice

We also welcome those for whom the topic is within their scope of practice, students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us. Note that continuing education credit may not be available for all professionals in the target audience. ABAC will provide a certificate of attendance for those who attend for professional development purposes.


After attending this event participants should be able to:

  1. Identify common ethical challenges that can occur when integrating ACT into professional practice as a behavior analyst.
  2. Discriminate between contexts where the use of ACT techniques falls within and outside the boundary of competence for most behavior analysts.
  3. Select appropriate decision making tools and questions to help guide the development of an individualized boundary of practice of ACT within ABA.
  4. Identify appropriate strategies to mitigate ethical concerns when participants find themselves in the “grey areas” at the boundaries of their competence.
  5. When given an example, participants will identify the argument for/or against mindfulness-based interventions delivered by a behavior analyst 


Dr. Michael Bordieri is an associate professor of psychology at Murray State University. He earned a M.S. in behavior analysis and therapy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and went on to earn his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi. He is a board-certified behavior analyst and licensed as a behavior analyst and psychologist in Kentucky. His clinical work focuses on acceptance and mindfulness-based behavioral treatments across a broad range of presenting problems and populations. His research interests broadly fall under the umbrella of translational work linking acceptance and mindfulness treatment components to basic behavioral processes.


The presenter(s) and/or presenters’ family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.  


12:00 pm: 3-5 minute Introduction
12:05 pm Presentation begins
1:45 pm Audience QA- Audience may also ask questions throughout the presentations
2:00 pm: Live Model: Submitting Continuing Education Requirements and Evaluation and Accessing your Certificate (Optional but recommended for those new to ABAC- Can't stay?  Click on this Link for more on how to earn Continuing Education At ABAC

Post-test: Multiple choice questions| Total anticipated time to complete: Approximately 15 minutes (CE eligible for some professions) | Passing score: 80%

Attendance Verification: Attendance Code Submission Form | Total anticipated time to complete: 2 minutes


APA, ASWB, NBCC, AOTA credit hours not offered for this Live Event.
Credit can be earned by viewing live or watching the recording as long as CE Requirements are met


  • Attendance Verification and Passing Score on Post-test (80%) Required to Earn Continuing Education Credit
  • Participants are provided multiple opportunities to pass the post-test and provide attendance verification.
  • For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page.

If the abovementioned continuing education credit requirements are not met, participants will not receive continuing education credit. Partial credit will not be awarded. Refunds and transfers are not granted if requirements are not met. In the event additional support is necessary to achieve the expected outcomes (see below) please reach out to to request assistance.

Attendees who meet the continuing education credit requirements must also fill out a confidential evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, the certificate can be found in the "My Certificates" tab in an attendee's personal dashboard.


Certificate of attendance are offered to those who do not need or require continuing education credit. For those attending the live event, selecting "other" as a professional designation will produce a certificate of attendance for professional development or internal organization training purposes.


After attending this event, attendees will select the correct answer on 80% of the questions within 3 attempts of the post-test that assesses the 5 learning objectives for this 4-hour event.


  • Opportunities to interact with the presenter during the Live Event.
  • All ABACLive Events include a reference list which allows attendees to continue their research following the event.
  • Presenters may provide their slides or an abridged version of their slides as a handout at their own discretion.
  • Handouts and additional resources (if applicable) are available for download 24 hours prior to the Live Event start time.
  • Two-week Post-Live Event Access Period: During this time, those that registered for the live event are able to view the recording, access handouts and other resources provided (if applicable) and complete continuing education requirements.